We all know someone who fits the profile of a travel snob. You know, the person who constantly talks about the time they lived in a yurt in Mongolia for a year under the tutelage of a Bedouin monk. Or the person whose eyes glaze over when you start talking about your recent beach resort holiday in Bali. The person who is adamant that there is a difference between a traveller and a tourist.
Truthfully, I am probably one of those people.
There is an accumulative travel snobbery that you inevitably begin to exhibit as a globetrotter. The more you travel, the harder it becomes to hit that ‘wow’ factor when you venture to a new destination. It’s a paradoxical conundrum. Travellers seek out foreign pastures but after gallivanting around the globe for so long, cities start to mould into the same skyline, languages merge into a global tongue, and it becomes increasingly difficult to seek out an ‘authentic’ experience—whatever that means.
Subsequently, you find yourself dismissing certain destinations or types of holidays as ‘faux’ travel. Anything that doesn’t involve a 6-month sabbatical to South America where you lived with a tribe on the banks of the Amazon River and wrestled with piranhas is not worth talking about.
I find myself talking down certain holidays as ‘not a big deal’ because they aren’t exotic destinations. I find that I judge other people’s trips based on this inexplicable ‘wow’ factor.
It’s cool if you’ve never heard of it, right?
As with everything in life, people like to do things differently. Some people are suckers and some people are crunchers, and this is why the world can keep on spinning on its axis. Everyone travels differently and for different reasons—there is no ‘right’ way.
Travel in a way that makes you feel happy—whether that’s backpacking, luxury travel or heading on an all-expenses paid cruise.
So, what’s the moral of this story, you ask?
Well, don’t be a travel elitist. Don’t think that your holidays are better than another’s holidays. Don’t think that trekking to the top of Mount Everest makes you better than that person who spent their week sunbathing in Bali.
The sheer fact that you are travelling should be enough ‘wow’, without the pressure to be constantly one-upping your last holiday. Because, seriously, that’s a lot of work and I’m not sure I’m ready to live in a yurt in Mongolia for a year under the tutelage of a Bedouin monk just yet.
Note: this post was originally published on Huffington Post on 11 May 2017.